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An introduction to sex and romance

Tags: sex, romance, sexual relationship, difficulty communication, sex after baby, intimacy, issues, sex problems, video, advice, support, love, relationship advice, relationship support

Do you want sex when your partner wants sex? Are you arguing because there's no time for a good sexual relationship anymore? The chances are your sex life now isn't what it used to be during the first throws of romance.

Sex can be the glue that holds your relationship together or the wedge that drives you apart. Research shows that, in general, men attach greater importance to sex in the relationship than women. But couples often have difficulty communicating about sex and attitudes towards sex change for both men and women after having a baby.

While it's accepted that most couples have less sex over time, this doesn't necessarily mean that they're less happy with their sexual relationship.

According to the Lancet in 2001 most heterosexual adults between the ages of 16 and 44 have sex on average 1.5 times a week(1) - however emotional and physical problems would drive that number significantly down. Studies have also found that couples in happier marriages have sex more often. But arguing about how often to have sex is nearly always about feeling loved and cared for in the relationship and deeper needs for connection and affection. Leading hectic lives can mean sex often gets put on the backburner.

Sex after a baby

A disrupted sex life is common. Some mothers simply feel too exhausted or too sore from the birth – whilst their partners want to quickly get back to how it was. Balancing what each of you needs sexually from the relationship isn't easy, but often couples find that by being flexible and creative, they can be open to unexpected opportunities for sex when they crop up!

Just being close and cuddling is important even when sex is not on the cards. Some women find it really difficult to come to terms with changes in their bodies when they are pregnant and after the birth – they feel unattractive or worried about their shape, affecting their confidence for sex. Men may also find it difficult to cope with their partners’s physical and emotional changes. So they both worry that things ‘will always be like this’. This is hardly ever the case, and talking together honestly about how you feel, and making time to give each other a bit of support can be a great help to getting your sex life back on track!


  1. Johnson, AM. et al., (2001) Sexual behaviour in Britain: partnerships, practices and HIV risk behaviours.The Lancet 358. Pp1835-1842.
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  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    I wonder if you found the article above helpful for discussing this with your wife? It might be worth posting more detail on the forum so that others can respond. Often when a baby is born both the new Mum and Dad need reassurance that they are still loved and cared for...despite feeling exhausted by all that needs to be done to care for the new arrival. does this ring any bells?

    Fri 21, Mar 2014 at 8:47pm
  • User-anonymous Jenny Flag

    Dear Anonymous, Could you possibly be more specific about the complex health issues? We might then be able to direct you to a suitable site. Also, if you post your issue on the Talk it Out area of this site, someone from the community might be able to help too. Thank you, Jenny

    Thu 25, Mar 2010 at 6:31pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    I would like to see an article on how to cope with a sexual relationship when one or other partner is also dealing with complex health issues,please.

    Thu 25, Mar 2010 at 11:56am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    the video does not seem to be available anymore :(

    Mon 25, Aug 2008 at 6:26pm